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Newbie question about smoking

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Smoking a pork shoulder takes 12 hours. Does it matter when you put in the wood chips. Lets say I start smoking the pork around 12 right before I go to sleep and i put in some wood chips to start it off. and I put in more chips when I wake up after 7 and every hour after that.

Does it make a difference whether I put in wood chips the first 5 or 6 hours or do you get the smoky taste as long as you use the chips.
post #2 of 7
Since your a self proclaimed newbie, let me first start off by saying that a pork shoulder does not necessarily take 12 hours. It might, but then again it might not. It depends on many variables. Always cook to the desired internal meat tempature and not by the amount of time you assume it's going to take.

The meat will continue to take on smoke flavor throughout the cooking process no matter when add the wood. Unless you plan on foiling when the meat hits a certain tempature. Then obviously the meat is wrapped in foil and is just braising in it's own juices + whatever other liquid you may have added. But you do not have to foil. Many do since it creates a moist environment and the meat just becomes fall apart tender.

If you have not been through the 5-day ecourse, I recommend doing that.
Also, here is a link to Jeff's on-line recipie for doing a shoulder.

I would recommend that you start with smoke right from the get-go. Then you can go nap for a few hours (if you're convinced the smoker will be safe and hold temps without supervision) and come back and probe the meat with a quality, calibrated thermometer. When the meat hits 165*F internal temp, wrap in some heavy duty alluminum foil. Add in some apple juice, beer, water, some sort of liquid to help the braising. Then you can go back and nap for a couple more hours. When the meat hits 200-205* pull it from the smoker, and let it rest in a dry cooler wrapped in towels for and hour or two. It'll stay piping hot this way and the meat will continue to break down. Then just open 'er up and start pulling.

Oh, and don't forget the qview. Good luck
post #3 of 7
I thought I read somewhere where the meat doesn't take on any more smoke flavor after it reaches 140 degree's, someone correct me if I'm wrong on this,,,,,,
post #4 of 7
I thought I read that too a while back, but have since been enlightenedbiggrin.gif Check this link out, explains it rather well.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
thanks for the info
post #6 of 7
I find if my smoker is running to temp (250°), a 8-10 lb pork shoulder usualy runs about 6-7 hrs., but like Dude said there are variations. I usually hit it with chunks of hickory every hour for the first 3-4 hours, untill the internal meat temp is up to 165°. Then I double wrap it in heavy duty foil and let it go for another 3 hrs., usually after the 2nd 3 hours the internal temp. is between 180-200. Wrap in towel and rest in a dry cooler for 1-2 hrs., then enjoy a little slice of heaven. biggrin.gif
post #7 of 7
As a general rule of thumb, figure about 90 minutes per pound (scroll down to "how long does it take". However there are variables that will effect the general rule, as in (smoker insulation or thermal efficiency, consistency of the heat source, recovery rate if smoker opened, how accurate the temperature measurement during the heat process, etc). If your thermometer is reading 225º and is really cooking at 270º, well you get the picture. Rules of thumb are based on all things being relatively equal.
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